The anchor behind Italy's new star studded generation is Marco Verratti, the talented playmaker who burst onto the scene last year under the tutelage of Zdenek Zeman at Pescara.
Having moved on to greener pastures in the summer by making the big money move to Ligue 1 side Paris St. Germain, the diminutive deep lying midfielder has already established himself as one of the fan favorites at the Parc des Princes.
What's perhaps the most incredible aspect of Verratti's poise on the pitch is the fact that he only recently turned 20 years of age.
Not the fleetest of foot, Marco uses his quick lateral movements and great body balance to shield off oncoming defenders, turning around and lobbing a forty meter pass to pinpoint accuracy. With his exceptional vision on the pitch, the Pescara born midfielder has drawn comparisons already to Andrea Pirlo.
However, a 20-year-old Pirlo was not the talent Verratti has already proven to be. Even more convincing is that he's doing it in a Champions League side full of world-class players who are expected to easily top the Ligue 1 table.
The pressure associated with playing alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic is one that has been thoroughly documented by some ex-AC Milan players who were intimidated by his formidable presence.
Italian national team manager Cesare Prandelli has called Verratti up to the squad on a regular basis, trying to integrate him with the others before the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, a competition he's expected to play a prominent role in.
A midfield of Verratti slotted alongside the likes of Daniele De Rossi, Claudio Marchisio and even Andrea Pirlo would be considered one of the finest in world football. This also goes without mention—the Azzurri will have little problems on the creativity scale.
It's not all been picture perfect in Paris, however, as the young playmaker has stated his desire to make an eventual return back to Serie A.
Playing regularly on a team like Paris St. Germain will give Verratti the experience both domestically and on the European scale which will allow him to leapfrog to the upper echelons of world football.
Despite mirroring Pirlo with his feet, accruing a similar resume trophy wise will take a gargantuan effort from Marco Verratti.
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